7-Month Chakra Challenge: Heart Chakra

Posted in: Habits, Mindfulness, Yoga | 1
It's Easy Being Green (photo by Etienne Boulanger)
It’s Easy Being Green (photo by Etienne Boulanger)

The Challenge 

This month we’re diving deep into the Heart Chakra. Across all cultures, the heart is the source of love, goodness, and connection. A healthy Heart Chakra gives us an overwhelming feeling of love for life – joie de vivre! Harmony rules and balance abounds.

September is the month of Anahata – the Sanskrit word for the Heart Chakra. Anahata is located at the very centre of our chakra system. The seven chakras comprise a stacked column whereby transcendental energy flows upwards towards the Crown and the energy of manifestation travels down towards our Root. The heart is at the crossroads of these two directional forces.

The Heart Chakra (Anahata Chakra)

The Heart Chakra is related to the element of air and can be thought of as our life’s love-source. It’s the fourth chakra and its meaning translates to unstruck. Where “stuck love” refers to what we know, “unstruck love” exists before human unification. It’s the love you already embody before the coming together of relationships. Unstruck love is universal love.

Your heart allows you to see goodness, compassion, and truth in all things. Taken too far, it can become over-attachment or result in compassion burnout. 

Drink your Greens (photo by Monika Grabkowska)

Chakra Deficiency

The Heart is our home. It’s our infinite life source. A deficient Heart Chakra is no longer in touch with the unity of the universe. Instead, it’s defensive, has been burned by love and no longer trusts. Someone who’s depleted their Heart Chakra gets stuck in the past and holds on to old wounds. Physically, individuals with deficient Heart Chakras hold poor posture and look defeated.  

If you have a deficient Heart Chakra, you close yourself off from love:

  • You’re extremely critical and judgemental of others’ behaviour
  • You let little things tick you off and are quick to dislike or boycott
  • You feel tightness in your chest and suffer breathing problems
  • You tend to cage yourself off and are overly self-critical
  • You are socially isolated and avoid contact and connection with others

Chakra in Excess

When we’re not in tune with universal love, we lack confidence in ourselves and in the world. To compensate for this sense of incompleteness, an excessive Heart Chakra can tend towards codependency. As a result, we can smother others in search of a wholeness that exists outside of ourselves. 

If you have excessive Heart Chakra energy, you overcompensate:

  • You have difficulty establishing boundaries and often go overboard
  • You let other people’s moods affect your own, for better or worse
  • You are clingy and jealous in relationships
  • You’re short-of-breath, experience asthma and tension between the shoulder blades
  • You allow yourself to be walked all over and are extremely sacrificing
Eat your Greens (photo by Dan Gold)

Food for the Heart Chakra 

There’s never a bad time to include more greens in your diet. Packed with nutrients and fibre, these antioxidant-rich foods also do wonders for our Heart Chakra. If you’re feeling depleted in this energy centre, go green!

Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and broccoli are heart-healthy in more ways than one. Blend your greens into juices and smoothies to easily increase your intake.

Add fresh herbs like parsley, basil, and sage to all your savoury dishes. Fruits like lime, avocado and kiwi are also beneficial. 

Sip on green tea or mix up a matcha latte.

Yoga for the Heart Chakra

Practice heart-opening asanas:

  • Cobra Pose (bhujangasana)
  • Bow Pose (dhanurasana)
  • Wheel Pose (chakrasana)
  • Camel Pose (ustrasana)
All you Need is Love (photo by Mel’z)

Meditation for the Heart Chakra

Give love to get love with this heart-shining meditation:

Settle into a comfortable position and bring your focus to the breath. After steadying your thoughts, begin to draw your attention to the centre of your chest. Envision the heart beating. Feel it working tirelessly to keep you alive. Picture a beam of light that emanates from the heart. You’re a Care Bear. This beam of light is love. It is healing. It is strength. The beam of light grows stronger when it spreads out from your heart. Now, picture someone in front of you, their body positioning mirrors your own. This person could be anyone, it does not matter: your teacher, a colleague, an old friend. Send the bright beam of light that pours out of your heart towards the other person. You shower them with unconditional, universal love. From your heart to theirs, honour this endless life source. 

Practice deep-breathing meditation with your hands on your heart:

Find a comfortable seated position. Instead of resting your hands in your lap, clasp one hand over the other and place them at the centre of your chest, or over your heart. Begin to deepen the breath, lengthening inhales and exhales. Feel your unconscious heartbeat. Recognise this bountiful energy that comes from within. As you breathe deeply, repeat to yourself, “I am love.” Let the truth of this mantra encompass your entire being. 

Glowing Green (photo by Neenu Vimalkumar)
Glowing Green (photo by Neenu Vimalkumar)

Lifestyle for the Heart Chakra

☑Chant YAM

The monosyllable YAM (pronounced “yum”) can be chanted as a mantra that quickly gets into the Solar Plexus Chakra. Bonus points if you practice this chant right before munching a leafy green lunch. 

☑Affirmations

Use mantras to reprogram your unconscious thinking. Repeat the below affirmation when you’re in the shower or out riding your bike:

  • “I am open to love”
  • “I love myself unconditionally”
  • “I am free to love and be loved”
☑Practice Self-Acceptance

Self-acceptance is unconditional love in action. We don’t have to give up our ambitions. Instead, we need to continuously remind ourselves that our worth isn’t conditional on some imagined future or desired change. Practically, this means doing something you love, purely for enjoyment’s sake. Dance, paint, run, scream, shout. And love yourself while doing it!

☑Practice Self-Care

In case you need more motivation to get out there and love yourself, the thought of massages and relaxing baths should do the trick. So often we pour love into others and neglect ourselves. Self-care looks different for everyone but the results are the same: you’re left with that self-loving feeling.

Self-Love September

This September, let loose and allow yourself to love unconditionally. Slow down and seek space to appreciate the little things in life that make this existence so special.

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